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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

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Fall 2022 Courses

10000-and 20000-level courses are listed here only if they have special topics. For a complete list of courses, see the TCU Course Catalog.

Fall 2022 Course Descriptions

Chantel L. Carlson

TR 9:30-10:50


English Majors/Minors: Writing

Writing Majors/Minors: Creative Writing

“I think it was the ability of the theater to communicate ideas and extol virtues that drew me to it. And also, I was, and remain, fascinated by the idea of an audience as a community of people who gather willingly to bear witness.”

August Wilson

In this introductory dramatic writing workshop, students will be introduced to creative writing techniques in drama specifically through the lens of social constructions of race, gender, and/or identity. Students will learn and apply the principles of critical thinking by writing dramatic monologues, scenes, and one-act plays, including character and plot development, stage directions, and writing dialogue. Prior to written assignments, students will also learn critical terms (such as characterization, plot structure, setting, dialogue, staging, etc.) as well as become familiar with the possibilities of the modern stage through readings of traditional and experimental plays. Because this is a writing workshop that values inclusivity, students will participate in a collaborative environment through workshops and group assignments. In addition to quizzes, students will be required to write (and perform) several dramatic exercises/scenes, as well as complete a one-act play for their final project or write and film a short scene.

Alex Lemon

TR 8:00-9:20

Core: WEM

English Majors: Writing

Writing Majors: Creative Writing


Matthew Pitt

TR 11:00-12:20

Core: WEM

English Majors: Writing

Writing Majors: Creative Writing

Most short stories are immersive but briefly-explored narrative worlds, standing alone, wrapping up forever once readers reach their final words. But what happens when a work of short fiction spills over, bringing about a second story (or several)? This fiction writing workshop will focus on story cycles—sequences of fictions that link to, converse with, and enhance one another. How do such stories manage to be both discrete and interrelated? We will pinpoint areas of focus that serve to braid and enrich the fictions: whether this involves shared locations, themes, narrators, historical periods, or other surprising strategies.

As students study these fiction cycles, they will also build their own, generating and submitting material, drafts, and revisions for workshop review as we forge forward, and hopefully, imagining further explorations to come, even after the term concludes. Published story cycles to be examined may include collections by Mia Alvar, Denis Johnson, Randall Kenan, Gloria Naylor, and Joan Silber.

Curt Rode

TR 12:30 to 1:50

Core: WEM

English majors: Writing subcategory

Writing majors: Creative Writing subcategory

English 30353 is a poetry-writing workshop for students with some experience in creative writing and a genuine interest in the genre of poetry. The poetry produced by classmates will comprise the bulk of the required reading, though students should come willing to discuss and critically assess a diverse range of historical and contemporary models. Success in the course will be measured by the quality of the student’s work in preparation for the Course Portfolio, by the ideas engaged and developed in critical exercises, and by the student’s contribution to the class workshop, discussion, and community.

Prerequisites: CRWT 10203, 20103, or 20133, plus the satisfactory completion of a prior 30000- or 40000-level Creative Writing workshop.

Rima Abunasser

MWF 11-11:50

ENGL majors: Research Seminar, British Lit., Global & Diasporic


Bonnie Blackwell

Tuesday 6:00 to 9:40 pm

ENGL majors: Brit Lit, Early Literature and Culture

WRIT majors: Literary & Language

Who were the Goths and what does it mean to be “gothic” in personal style, film genre, or video game play? This course critically examines early British, Irish, and Scottish literature Gothic Literature from 1660-1900, with an eye towards tracing the origins of such modern phenomena as the haunted house, the ghost walk, J-Horror, La Llorona, Survival Horror video games like Resident Evil, Gothic Lolitas, Mummy curses and Zombie pub crawls.  We will investigate the connection between contemporary Gothic, Horror, and Suspense genres in lit and film by tracing their roots to changes in patriarchal family structure in the Early Modern Period. We will read Britain’s first ghost story, vampire story, possession story, gothic novel, and sci-fi horror tale, mostly by authors just working out the highly profitable business of scaring audiences. We will pay particular attention to the feminist critiques of patriarchy implicit in the Gothic: human, divine, and animal worlds in the changing religious and political landscape of the Interregnum, Regency, Romantic and early Victorian periods. Our readings will be paired with film screenings, in some cases direct adaptations of the source novel, in some cases, parodies (Young Frankenstein) and in some cases, variations on the reading’s theme (like the bestial boyfriend, the vengeful infant or changeling child, the vampiric capitalist). We will practice drafting and revising arguments in a variety of formats, including essay exams, online discussions, and formal papers.

Required readings include: Richard Marsh, The Beetle, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, Sheridan LeFanu, Carmilla, John Polidori, The Vampyre, Ann Radcliffe, The Sicilian, James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Edmund Burke, Philosophical Essay into the Origin of our Ideas on the Sublime and the Beautiful, Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire,” Maria Edgeworth, Ennui: Or The Memoirs of the Earl of Glenthorn, Bram Stoker, Dracula. Course requirements: threaded discussions, weekly writing grades, midterm and final essay exams, and one research paper.

David Colón

TR 3:30-4:50

Core: LT, HUM

English Majors: American Literature, Global & Diasporic

Writing Majors: Literature and Language

This course begins with close reading of primary historical texts crucial to understanding traditions and circumstances of modern Mexican culture, followed by a study of Mexican American critical theory focused on three books: José Vasconcelos’ The Cosmic Race/La raza cósmica, Alma M. García’s anthology Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings, and Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La frontera: The New Mestiza. These books helped express an emergent intellectual consciousness that enabled a new vocabulary for examining the cultures, experiences, languages, and literatures of communities along the U.S./Mexico border (what some call Greater Mexico), affecting emergent forms of art, theory, and politics as well as re-envisioning the legacies of cultural pioneers. This course will focus on Mexican American cultural production in the context of an interdisciplinary conversation, drawing on scholarship and ideas relating to religious studies, feminism(s), cultural studies, film studies, history, and literary theory. Authors may also include Erika L. Sánchez, John Rechy, and Myriam Gurba. Spanish proficiency is not required.

Layne Craig

MWF 10:00-10:50

Core: LT, HUM

English Majors: British Literature

Writing Majors: Literature and Language

In this course, students will read a selection of British literature beginning with the late Romantic era and ending in the twenty-first century. Assigned texts will come from a variety of genres, including poetry, novels, drama, memoir, and essay. Students will leave the course with a working knowledge of major authors and literary movements of the time period, as well as with enhanced skills in close reading, various approaches to textual analysis, and writing and research in the field. To organize our survey of the huge array of literature produced in Great Britain in this time period, we will be concentrating particularly on texts that depict conflict between urban and rural life, taking Raymond Williams's The Country and the City as a starting point for our discussion about ideas of the rural and urban in Great Britain. Among the many writers we'll be studying are Austen, Keats, Anne Brontë, Tennyson, Dickens, Conrad, Wilde, Yeats, Woolf, Selvon, Heaney, Rushdie, Winterson, Zadie Smith, Hilary Mantel. Graded work will include exams, short papers, and a researched presentation. Regular attendance and participation is expected.

Anne Frey

TR 11-12:20

Core: LT, HUM, WEM

English majors and minors: British Literature

Writing majors: Literature and Language

In their 1802 Lyrical Ballads, Williams Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge claim that they are writing a new kind of literature: a poetry about and for everyday people, written in everyday language. They think this new kind of writing will make a difference in an age of tumultuous change, as industrialization reshaped the lived environment, the French Revolution promised liberty but turned into a bloodbath, activists sought an end to the system of slavery, and the scientific revolution thrilled with its possibilities but threatened to derail religious certainty. In this age of change, the Romantic writers claimed for literature the power to change the world – or to return to us the selves we had lost. This course introduces students to the aesthetic principles and generic innovations of the high Romantic poets as well as the reactions and revisions of the poetry and prose that followed them. We’ll talk about why the Romantics embraced nature (and whether this a good model for our world today), whether we agree that literature shapes the future, and whether it’s ever ok to eat your tutor (or your tutor’s dog? if you’re in a shipwreck?) And we’ll see if you can bring yourself to sympathize with Frankenstein’s monster! Reading includes poetry and prose by Phyllis Wheatley, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, William Blake, Coleridge, Jane Austen, Percy and Mary Shelley (including Frankenstein), John Keats, Lord Byron, and Leticia Landon, among others. We’ll end the semester by reading contemporary author Victor Lavalle’s graphic novel Destroyer, a sequel to Frankenstein for the Black Lives Matter era.

Jill Havens

MWF 9:00-9:50

Core: LT, HUM

English majors: Early Lit and Culture, Elective

Writing majors: Literature & Language

The name “Viking” evokes an image of a barbaric, illiterate pagan warrior wearing a horned helmet and carrying a battle ax while ravaging, raping, and pillaging Northern Europe. “Oh Lord, save us from the fury of the Northmen!” was a prayer often on the lips of their victims. Or so the story goes. For centuries the reputation of the Vikings has suffered from this stereotype, a stereotype reinforced by their victims: civilized, literate Christians. But were the Vikings really like this?

In this course, we will explore the rich, sophisticated literature of medieval Scandinavia, from their ancient myths and complex eddic and skaldic poetry about the Norse gods and kings to the highly developed prose narratives of the Icelandic family sagas (the precursor to the modern novel). As great travelers, explorers, and immigrant settlers, the Vikings encountered and assimilated into many different cultures, so we will also read accounts of the Northmen by others too. And we will spend time studying the religion, language, family and social structure, gender roles, and history of the Norse peoples to reflect on the impact the Vikings had on the development of the English language and the shape of Western Europe. We will also reflect on the modern representation of the Vikings in popular culture through various media (movies, TV shows, cartoons, video games, etc.) and the more recent fetishizing of the Vikings by white supremacists.

Brandon Manning

MWF 1-1:50

Core Categories: LT, HUM

English majors:  American Literature

Writing majors: Literary and Language Studies

This course serves as an advanced seminar on the black humorous and satirical tradition in African American literature and visual culture. We will begin the course cultivating a genealogy of black folk expressive culture that leads into a robust representation of humor and satire during Antebellum slavery. We will examine the role of humor, satire, and play in shaping and responding to different moments of black cultural production in the 20th century: the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and the move towards multiculturalism in the 90s. We will look back to figures like Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, George Schuyler, and others, and put them in conversation with contemporary writers and cultural producers like Paul Beatty, Issa Rae, and Key and Peele to consider how humor and satire have evolved and in what ways has it stayed the same. We will seek the answer to questions such as: What is black satire? What role does humor play in black cultural production? And, how does laughter and misunderstanding function within the broader matrix of black cultural production?

Stacie McCormick

TR 9:30-10:50

Core: LT, HUM, WEM

English majors:  American Literature, Global & Diasporic

Writing majors: Literary and Language Studies

Toni Morrison remains one of the most influential American authors of our time. Her novels have been translated into plays and major motion pictures. Since her passing in 2019, scholars and critics have returned to her work with fresh eyes, contemplating her tremendous contributions to American letters. Our course will explore Morrison’s work in various genres and forms. We will consider questions such as: How do we comprehend Toni Morrison’s literary contributions from her 1970 debut novel The Bluest Eye to today? In what ways does Morrison’s art inform not only artistic practice but also ways of understanding the world? We will examine critical texts in Morrison’s oeuvre. Thematic frameworks that we will be taking up include but are not limited to the following: Black motherhood, medicine, gender and sexuality, beauty, geography, etc. Course assessments include: exams, essays, quizzes, presentations, and short writings on the readings.

Sarah Ruffing Robbins

TR 2:00-3:20

Core categories: LT, HUM, WEM

English majors:  American Literature

Writing majors: Literary and Language Studies

We see ourselves as living in a global society now, but nineteenth-century American literature was already actively contributing to transnational culture-making. Thus, students in ENGL 40553 will explore the lively nineteenth-century exchanges shaped by American literature’s movement across national boundaries. Specifically, we’ll examine literature linked to transatlantic networks both material (e.g., ships carrying texts and, later in our period, new technologies like the telegraph cable) and personal (e.g., letter exchanges between authors and accounts by Individual transatlantic travelers—whether journeying by choice or by force, as in Black Atlantic slavery). Taking “transatlantic” to include the entire oceanic basin connecting Africa, the Caribbean, and North America to Britain and the European continent, the course’s geography will question assumptions about “American” literature as having only the US for its analytical space. How, for instance, did pirated editions of British authors’ works claim bestseller status in North America and promote US speaking tours by celebrity UK authors such as Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde? How were US anti-slavery and anti-racist campaigns of “American” Black writers like Frederick Douglass, Mary Webb, and Ida B. Wells facilitated by their UK-based speaking engagements and writings? How were additional social justice movements such as women’s suffrage and support for Indigenous/First Nations peoples bolstered by “American” literature crossing and re-crossing the Atlantic? Most course readings will come from a new anthology of nineteenth-century transatlantic literatures. Students’ own research into the topic will include collaboratively developing new primary text entries and explanatory introductions for an associated website on transatlantic literature. Students will also explore examples of how nineteenth-century periodical texts and images contributed to US literature’s global reach by enabling domestic social reading and public performances to situate audiences in both locally-situated spaces as seemingly contained as a home parlor, church, or small lecture hall yet simultaneously connecting to cross-cultural transnational contexts.

Alexandra Edwards

TR 2:00-3:20

Core Categories: WEM

Writing Majors: Design & Editing; Digital Intensive Overlay

This course explores the complex relationship between media, technology, and design, with particular emphasis on cinematic rhetoric. We will start with a series of questions: what do moving pictures do? How do they do it? How has digital technology changed what moving pictures do and what we can do with them?

Students will both learn about and author a variety of multimedia texts relating to the moving image. Products for this class will not be the traditional, academic-oriented essays; instead, we will work with different media and students will produce several different kinds of texts, as well as explore the multiple complex ways that moving images are made, experienced, and understood. We will be composing with rhetoric, especially cinematic rhetoric, in mind.

While this is a writing class that satisfies the WEM core requirement, it is designed for students with a particular interest in writing, design, and working in digital environments. A knowledge of and comfort with computers is a big plus.

Ann George

MWF 9:00-9:50

Core: WEM

Writing majors: Rhetoric & Culture

English majors: Writing

Got Style? Got rhythm? Got voice—or several voices? Come to think of it, what is style anyway? Can you be “in style” and still have “your own style”? This course is designed to expand your repertoire of stylistic moves; to enable you to produce finely crafted, rhetorically sensitive prose; and to help you understand how language choices work to maintain or disrupt unjust relationships of power.

Course projects involve practicing tropes and schemes, rhetoricizing punctuation, morphing into our favorite stylists (via imitation), working with style for different audiences, and exploring language theory. Our texts will include Queneau’s Exercises in Style, Kolln & Gray’s Rhetorical Grammar, some stellar essays, and, of course, our own increasingly stylish writing.

Ann George

Day/time  TBA  

English majors:  Writing

Writing majors:  Internship

Students with 60 credit hours and a Writing/English GPA of 3.0 or CUM GPA of 2.8 can receive workplace experience (and, depending on agency policy, sometimes a stipend) from companies or agencies in publishing, advertising, grant writing, web writing, or other fields. Duties are arranged to fit each student’s schedule, and work opportunities may include research gathering, editing, social media/web authoring, or document production. Students will produce a writing portfolio at the end of term. Students need to work a minimum of 8 hours a week during the semester to receive three hours of credit. This course may be repeated once for credit.

Interested students should read through internship procedures and agency contacts on the English department website.

NOTE: Students should plan to meet with the internship coordinator the semester before the one in which they’ll be enrolled in the course. Students are responsible for setting up their own internships. Some internships are competitive, and some require applications 6 weeks-6 months in advance. Each agency may have only 2 interns per semester. Internships for fall semester must be confirmed by the first Monday in August.

Gabi Kirilloff & Curt Rode

TR 9:30 to 10:50

Core: CSV / HUM

English Majors: Elective

Writing Majors: Design & Editing / Digital Overlay

DCDA Minors: satisfies coding requirement

So often we think of computer programming as being the purview of computer science, mathematics, and the hard sciences. And we’re not wrong. But if we start to broaden our definition of “data” to include the publication date and page count of our favorite novels, or how frequently specific words occur in the collected work of our favorite poets or in a Twitter debate, we begin to see how the elements of the texts we study in the humanities – novels, poems, plays, essays, government documents, Twitter posts, blog entries -- can be “counted” in meaningful ways. Once we see our favorite texts as countable objects, we realize how much the humanities might benefit from computational analysis.

In “Introduction to Coding in the Humanities,” students will be introduced to the basics of a computer programming language (such as Python or R) to broaden their ability to analyze representative texts of significance and to practice critical analysis of work at the center of the humanities.

Brad Lucas

MWF 10:00 - 10:50 (.020); MWF 11:00 - 11:50 (.030)

Core: CSV

English majors: Elective

Writing majors: Design and Editing

The course serves as an introduction to the principles, techniques, and skills needed for writing in scientific, technical, or other professional settings. We will focus on the genres necessary to make decisions and take action in the workplace (e.g., proposals, instructions, policies, and procedures) and how they function in an organizational “ecology” at all levels. We will explore how communicative actions have consequences for stakeholders within such organizations and the various publics they serve and influence. The course emphasizes collaborative processes involved in the creation of ethical and efficient documents, with attention to the dynamics of leadership in professional contexts. In our increasingly complex world, skilled writers are needed almost everywhere. No matter what life path you pursue, this course will further develop your rhetorical skills, extend your engagement with workplace writing, and expand the range of your own writing to help meet those needs, whenever and wherever you might find them. Prerequisites: None

Brad Lucas

MWF 1:00-1:50

Core: None

Writing Majors: Major Seminar

Note: English majors/minors may not enroll in this course without special permission.

This course is designed to be a culminating, integrative experience for you to reflect on the intersections of your learning while directing your attention to life after graduation. Given your major/minor in Writing, you will reflect on your previous coursework as well as synthesize and apply your curricular knowledge to new contexts, situations, and topics. The course is designed around two intersecting goals: [1] to reinforce your research and writing practices through an in-depth research project in writing studies and [2] to investigate professional opportunities and practices that highlight writing. Put simply, you’ll take stock of your writerly practices in the context of writing studies and related careers. Whether your interests lean more toward creative writing, rhetoric and culture, or design and editing, you will explore a range of field possibilities through research, reflection, career profiling, and development of a professional portfolio. Prerequisites: Writing majors and minors only; students must have junior or senior standing and must have completed one 30000-level ENGL or WRIT course.

Joddy Murray

TR 12:30-1:50

Core: None

English Majors: Elective

Writing Majors: Design & Editing, Digitally Intensive

In this course, you will be both reading about and authoring multimedia texts intended for mobile devices: mobile applications and eBooks. What this class is teaching you is the process and the rhetorical consequences of authoring in these digital environments—from conception to publication to distribution (whether on your own or through a 3rd party like iTunes or Amazon). To prepare for the influences of e-readers, authors must be aware of how to compose digitally-born documents to take full advantage of what e-readers and tablets can do. Similarly, designing apps for tablets and smartphones poses its own challenges to authors (beyond the initial investment in learning the technology): mobile apps are part of our social-rhetorical fabric, and they are therefore intentionally persuasive. Previous experience or knowledge with eBook authoring or app building is not required. Projects will include a rhetorical analysis of mobile interfaces, a mobile app design project, and an eBook design project (along with other informal writing and design requirements along the way).

Chantel Carlson

Tuesdays 3:30-4:50

Core: N/A

English Majors: Elective

Writing Majors: Internship

This 1.5 credit-hour course is for students with an interest in literary magazine publication and basic web design. Students in the course will work in every stage of the production of the semester’s print issue of eleven40seven, TCU’s undergraduate journal of the arts, and its web edition ( Specifically, students will gain knowledge of and experience in (1) the history and purpose of the student literary magazine, (2) the selection, editing, and proofing of the semester’s submissions, (3) the journal’s print layout and the design of the issue’s web edition, and (4) the distribution and promotion of the completed issue. Students will also receive, as needed, practical software training. The course may be repeated for credit.

Chantel Carlson

Thursdays 3:30-4:50

English Majors: Elective

Writing Majors: Internship

In this 1.5 credit-hour course, students will learn about, and take part in, promotion and fundraising for the arts. Students will work with TCU's University Advancement and the Office of Loyalty Giving to complete a Frog Funding project to help raise funds for the 5th anniversary edition of The Women’s Center Monologues chapbook and assist in the promotion of the eleven40seven brand. Students will compose, film, and distribute a campaign video to aid in the acquisition of community funds to help cover the production costs of the chapbook. Students will also receive, as needed, practical video and software training. The course may be repeated for credit.

Mat Wenzel

MW 4:00-5:20

Core: CA, WEM

English majors: Critical Theory, Theory

Writing majors: Rhetoric and Culture

In this course we will engage with queer rhetorical strategies through queer archives, art, and activism. We’ll begin with defining queerness through José Esteban Muñoz, E. Patrick Johnson, and Jack Halberstam as being “more than identitarian markers,” a way of “destabilizing fixed notions of identity” and the reliance on “nonnormative logics and organizations of communities.” We will explore disidentification with classical and heteronormative/ homonormative rhetorics as we seek to create: (1) a more complete archive of queer experience, (2) queer arts and queerer arts, and (3) contributions to emerging and ongoing queer activism.